Fan Mail Wednesday #131: Upcoming Books

Hello!  My name is Russell. I want to read all of your books. I am enjoying Bystander so much. I was just wondering what other books you have besides Bystander because I am reading it now? Please contact me back when you have free time. Thank you so much.



I replied:


Thanks, I’m glad you liked Bystander. Though I’ve written for many years, including 40 titles in the Jigsaw Jones mystery series, Bystander was the first time I set a book in a middle school. So I don’t have much that’s exactly right for you as a follow-up . . . yet.

My book, Six Innings, fits in with Bystander, in terms of reading & interest level. It revolves around a Little League championship baseball game (thus, six innings, not nine). It was named an ALA Notable and I’m proud of that.

Next summer, I have a new book coming out, Before You Go, that is probably grades 7/8 – up. There’s a little bit of mild language in it, some alcohol, but not much. I guess it’s up to individuals as to where they draw the line on those issues. The main characters are ages 16, 17. Essentially the setup is this: Opening scene, four unnamed teenagers drive on a dark road. The car spins out of control, hits a tree. One passenger dies. Next page, we rewind six weeks into the past, and gradually meet all the characters. The reader doesn’t know who is going to be in the car, or who will die. The book catches up to the accident about 2/3 of the way through. So the book is in two sections: “Before” and “After.”

I’m also writing a new middle school book, tentatively titled, Zombie Me. But I can’t really talk about that one until I finish it — it’s been an exciting book for me to write, but such a struggle.

Now study up, ace those finals, and enjoy a great holiday season.

My best,


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